tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC October 11, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
tonight on tonight on "world news," ready for daylight. the rescue in chile. hours away. 33 miners asking for shampoo and shoe polish. the first embryonic stem cell treatment under way tonight. will it help a paralyzed patient walk? lightning rod. one of the most combatant candidates warns about brainwashing by gays and tries to defend his comments. holy moly. is granddad's old painting behind the sofa a michelangelo? what a story in buffalo, new york. and look at her now. the afghan girl horribly
disfigured by the family of her taliban husband. now in america, the new look tonight. good evening. we hope your columbus day has been a good one. you can almost hear all the hearts pounding with anxiety and hope tonight and got word that the 33 miners trapped in darkness for 2 1/2 months in chill will are spending their last night altogether and will begin coming out one by one tomorrow night. as you know, that rescue measures just 21 inches across, 2 inches wider than my shoulders so it will be a slow cramped and precarious ride to freedom. jeffrey kofman is at the mine tonight. show us where they'll be becoming up. >> reporter: just over my shoulder. two yellow cranes is where the
rescue hole is. they're laying the foundation for the pulley system that will bring the men to the surface and will happen much sooner than expected. midnight tomorrow they're saying but could be several hours sooner and hearing from sources that the men are hearing big cracks in the mine and falling rock so this can't happen soon enough. ♪ they were counting the weeks then the days, now the miners' families are counting the final hours. "i am anxious" says the wife of the oldest miner "and happy, happy that this nightmare is coming to an end." every hour brings news, the latest that the cramped rescue capsule is working as planned. carrying bags of sand it was lowered to the bottom of the shaft and brought safely back up. >> this test has been very successful. we set some tv cameras inside and we are pretty sure that the cage will behave properly as has been designed during the rescue
process. we are ready, saw that there is no movement inside the cage. >> reporter: the capsule leaves nothing to chance. the men will wear an oxygen mask, their heartbeat and body temperature will be monitored. they'll wear a telephone headset to talk with the rescue team above. every second will be monitored by a video camera. the men are now taking aspirin because of concerns of blood clotting and soon begin a liquid diet to cut down on nausea. this morning my colleague david kerley stood in a similar capsule in pennsylvania. >> the capsule is patterned after this one built in '72 used once in 2002. i'll grab you the camera and show you 21 inches shoulders on each side touching, lots of headroom but it is a tight fit. >> reporter: everyone here is on edge. but also excited. even cheered for the drill that tummed the rescue shaft when it left the mine today like a conquering hero. as the men prepare to escape
from that underground prison we're hearing incredibly moving details. they've asked to have shampoo sent down. there is a waterfall where they've been washing and asked for shoe polish. they have endured misery that few of us can imagine and yet they want to look presentable when they see their families for the first time diane? >> what a story this is and it's terrifying to think they're hearing cracking sounds in the mine. cannot happen soon enough. i know you'll be reporting through the night. thank you. back in this country a landmark medical event today. a milestone in stem cell research. for the first time ever doctors have injected human embryonic stem cells into a patient with a spinal cord injury. embryonic stem cells have been at the center of a debate and tonight 9 first chance for doctors to see if they might indeed work in humans. david wright on today's breakthrough. >> reporter: for years, scientists have held out the promise that embryonic stem cells could repair damaged spinal cords.
actor christopher reeve died waiting for a cure. but never until now have they been injected in a human being. >> this is the dawn in a new era of medical therapeutics. we are leaving behind the days of using pills to treat symptoms and entering a new era where we're using living human cells. >> reporter: in this case, cells obtained from human embryos discarded from in vitro fertilization procedures. scientists from geron corporation, the company conducting the trial, injected the first human test subject friday in this small hospital in atlanta. they'll add one new patient per month for the next year. the company won fda approval after promising results among lab rats. rats with little use of their hind legs were able to walk again, within weeks after being injected with embryonic stem cells. but the company is playing down expectations for the human
trial. they first have to prove the treatment is safe. >> with any new product there are always unanticipated new risks. >> reporter: all of the patients in this first clinical trial will receive low doses of stem cells. all of them are paralyzed from the waist down. the human volunteers will have to be recruited over time right after suffering life-altering spinal cord injuries. the thing is, they have to receive the stem cell injection within two weeks of their injury. so the second human test subject likely hasn't been injured yet. >> i think we should anticipate many failures before we ultimately see success. >> reporter: the ed cal debate continues over using it for this but the medicine is moving forward. david wright, abc news, los angeles. there are 58 million americans who get social security checks and they're about to receive word there will be no cost of living increase in their checks for 2011. for the second year in a row social security payments will be frozen because inflation has been flat.
so how will it impact everyday life? david muir let some of you ask the questions tonight. >> reporter: it's the first time this has happened. two years in a row with no increase in social security. the average payment, $1,072 a month. and more than half, 64%, say that money is their primary source of income. and if you talk to seniors across this country, just as we did today, you hear the same and if you talk to seek yores. across this country, just as we did today, you hear the same questions. mary jo zogby, outside the supermarket in milford, massachusetts -- >> why can't you increase the amount of money? you are using more money in other avenues -- why can't you increase it for us? >> reporter: here's the government's explanation. any social security increase is connected to inflation -- prices on everything from a loaf of bread to a carton of orange juice. but inflation this last year was less than 1%. in fact, we were surprised to
learn a loaf of bread is actually down about a dime, a half gallon of juice down 15 cents. so why are seniors still feeling squeezed? >> they've seen their home values drop. they've seen their pension and retirement savings shrink. rising much faster than the economy. >> reporter: those prescription drugs are exactly what up lasre exactly what >> they can sell them to canada for less, why do they >> reporter: is there anything shirley can do? >> there's definitely something shirley can do. for example, lots of seniors are reluctant to buy generic drugs and if you use those type of drugs it can cost the drugs between 20% to 40% by buying generic. >> reporter: and there was jane glennon, outside boston. her concern -- plummeting housing values. down an average of 16% since the recession began for seniors. >> the property where i live is paid for, but i think i'm going to have to get a reverse mortgage just to keep me afloat. >> i hate to see her use it as a first option. >> reporter: what are some other
options. >> some of the things i would recommend is take in a boarder. now, i know that sounds crazy and people want to be past that but, listen, you can bring someone in your home. they can help with some of the >> reporter: a lot of people will fe uneasy about that idea but it i a novel one the idea of a single mom, a grad student, one way to share expenses since there is no increase in social security next year. >> good to see you here tonight. politics now. 22 days to go until the november elections and we take a look at the giant amount of money being spent by the u.s. chamber of commerce. especially to target issues in democratic races. president obama, the democratic national committee, have charged back that ads have ties to foreign money. we asked jake tapper to check the facts. >> reporter: with tens of millions of dollars in attack ads hitting the airwaves, the u.s. chamber of commerce is the second biggest player in the mid-term elections. out spending even democrats. president obama says he wants to
know where the money is coming from. >> one of the largest groups paying for these ads regularly takes in money from foreign sources. >> reporter: the supreme court loosened campaign contribution rules for corporations last year, and now the president is suggesting the chamber might be letting foreign money influence american elections. >> are you going to let special interests from wall street and washington and maybe places beyond our shores come to this state and tell us who our senator should be? >> reporter: does the chamber of commerce take money from foreign companies? yes. some of the chamber's money comes from foreign companies and foreign-based chamber affiliates. but is there any proof that foreign money is funding political ads or activities? no. >> you just don't know. it's speculation and nothing more. >> reporter: the chamber says that "no foreign money is used that "noo four l money is used but you're ask the chamber to prove a negative. "prove that you're not doing
such and such accusation." >> it's not proving a jak to clear up the questions is reveal who your donors are from. >> reporter: the white house says the larger point is that individual contributors have disclosure rules and limits on how much they can contribute. but corporations do not. >> any interest group can write a $10 million check to try and defeat a candidate, and no one will ever know exactly what their involvement was. >> reporter: diane, all these rules are equally applicable to groups on the left, but they are not spending money this election cycle the same way that groups on the right are. diane? >> okay, jake, thanks to you. also in politic, a new twist in the high-profile race for new york governor. proub carl paladino, a tea party favorite who made waves after threatening a reporter last week is now taking on the gay community. here's linsey davis. >> reporter: this was not a gay pride parade other carl paladino wouldn't be here. >> they wear speedos and grind at each other. >> reporter: the candidate didn't show up at the columbus
day parade to apologize. what would you say to the gay population directly today? >> i'm 100% in favor of all gay rights except for one. >> reporter: that is? >> gay marriage. >> reporter: and why? >> i'm a catholic. >> reporter: but his remarks last night at a new york synagogue seemed to go much further. >> my children and your children, i don't want them to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexual is an equally values voter summit and successful option. >> reporter: they're seen as insensitive in new york. eight men are arained for attacking and sodomizing a gay men and two gay teens. his opponent quickly pounced saying paladino's denigrating gays and lesbians is a continuation of his thoughtless and harmful language. the tea party tried to explain his remarks away by saying they were prepared by these orthodox rabbis part of an anti-gay sect but they're not baltimorely powerful. >> they are a voting bloc but are not a huge voting bloc. this campaign has sunk to the
lowest level in the last 50 years. >> reporter: the man with the campaign slogan -- >> that new yorkers are as mad as hell. and we're not going to take it anymore. >> reporter: -- has some people fuming. linsey davis, abc news, new york. and still ahead on "world news," the young girl famous after she was disfigured by the family of her taliban husband, see how she looks tonight. and by woodruff on the mysteries of north korea. and michelangelo's paintings. what if that was one hanging above your sofa. ♪ ♪ ♪
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and now we want to bring you up to date on the remarkable young afghan woman. you may remember her, bebe. her face mutilated by her taliban husband and his family. on the cover of "time" magazine she became an emblem of the brutality but some loving strangers brought her to california for reconstructive surgery, a long process but we thought you'd want to see what's already begun. when i first saw her she was a young girl sitting shyly by the wall. her scarf covering her face. as we talked she took down her hands to show me what they had done. she was just 12 when she had been given to a taliban man who
married her and abused her forcing her to sleep in the stables with animals. after she tried to run away, the villages man handed down her sentence, her husband cut off her nose and ears while his brother held her down. left for dead, she managed to crawl first to her uncle's house, but he refused to help her. so she kept on until a rative got her to a hospital run by strangers. the strangers were an american military medical team who cared for her for 2 and a half months and gave her something she hadn't had, kindness. they even taught her a little english. >> what's up? >> what's up. >> reporter: after that she packed her sparkling new pair of shoes to come to america for surgery to give her back her face. surrounded by caring strangers who speak fluent farsi let her listen to afghan music on youtube and give her counseling, this month she was fitted with a prosthetic nose like the kind they use in the movies for
special effects. she puts it on herself with a special skin adhesive each morning, a kind of preview of what the surgery will make permanent and so are you ready to see her now. iesha on the red carpet. it was a benefit for the burn foundation where the surgeons will operate on her for free. she laughed with a favorite musician juangi and met former first lady laura bush and honored by maria shriver and already now in the mirror a hint of the girl she dreamed she will be. a girl with a smile all her own. it's so wonderful to see her. still ahead, pomp and pageantry in pyongyang. introducing the new roar for the north koreans. . here it comes... here you go. good catch. perfect! alright now for the best part.
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the air force, the infantry, the artillery, medics and doctor, nurses and, of course, tanks. now it's completely silent because right up there kim jong il and his son kim jong-un will come out and watch. the goal of all this was purely political. an introduction to the heir apparent of the dines that city kim jong-un. out and about in the capital no one seemed to know much about kim jong-un. do you know what his age is and what he's like? >> haven't you seen him on tv? >> reporter: it seemed the young general was everywhere we went from stadiums to the public squares but he never uttered a word. we should point out when kim jong-il's father named him as the heir apparent in 1980, it wasn't until 12 years later that he first spoke in public. [ speaking a foreign language ] >> reporter: so for those anxious to hear from the next leader of the kingdom, sit tight.
it could be a while. you should know that north korea has long turned its lights off at night because of a shortage of electricity. in fact, if you look at the satellite view you can see the lights are elsewhere. compare this trip to the last one i was on. there's actually more lights on at night than there were before so maybe something is changing. also remember three days ago there were almost no pictures of kim jong-un, the heir apparent. but here in the leading paper, you can see him right there, two seat as way from his father, never seen this before. so over the next few days, certainly months and years, diane, he's going to be getting a lot more attention. >> introduced this weekend, thank you, bob. and the opera star they called la stupenda died. her glorious high "e" flat. here's a 1982 performance. ♪ joan sutherland, australian, was
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an and finally tonight what if that old thing your grandparents left you turned out to be by michelangelo? no kidding. here's andrea canning. >> reporter: michelangelo's masterpieces can be found in the louvre, the sistine chapel, st. peter's basilica, and now a house in buffalo? for decades this unfinished painting of jesus and mary was tucked away behind martin kober's sofa, but he always had a hunch. kober took the painting he
simply called "the mike" to several auction houses and museums. he found an italian art historian who says his scientific analysis proves it's the real deal. >> i am totally certain that this is a michelangelo. >> reporter: so how did it get to buffalo? michelangelo reportedly gave it to a friend who passed it on to two catholic cardinals. it eventually made its way to a german baroness. she gave it to her lady in waiting, who in 1883 sent it to her brother-in-law in america, kober's great grandfather. >> reporter: the history of this object is very impressive in itself. it's almost unbroken from the time of the 16th century. >> reporter: others have also hit the art jackpot. last year this louisiana woman bought a colorful painting at a yard sale for $2. turns out it was believed to be a picasso worth up to $2 million. >> makes me sick that i sold it for $2. >> reporter: as for buffalo's latest masterpiece now hanging in a bank vault, if it's real, the painting behind that sof